Verisign reported its fourth quarter and 2020 financial results Thursday and the highlight that will get most attention is the increase in the annual registry-level wholesale fee for each new and renewal .com domain name, which will increase by 7%, from $7.85 to $8.39, effective 1 September, 2021.
The second quarter of 2020 saw global domain name registrations continue to rise, with an increase of 3.3 million, or 0.9%. This took total registrations around the world to 370.1 million as the global COVID-19 pandemic continued to wreak havoc.
Verisign announced last week they are extending the registry fee waiver, the one-time wholesale restore fee charged to restore to active status of a domain name registration which has been deleted by a registrar, for all their top-level domains including .com and .net, until 1 August.
Facebookâs announcement of their new Libra cryptocurrency in mid-June had a big impact on .com and .net domain name registrations with âlibraâ topping the top 10 trending keywords in English registered in June for both top-level domains.
âCurrencyâ also made it into the .com top 10 while gambling-related keywords had an impact on .net keywords with âcasinoâ, âbetâ and âpokerâ.
For May âcouponsâ and âcouponâ topped the .com top 10.
The top 10 trending keywords for .com and .net registered in June 2019 were:
The top 10 trending keywords for .com and .net registered in May 2019 were:
There were 6 keywords that related to drug addiction and rehabilitation on Verisignâs top 10 list of trending keywords for .com in April: rehab, drug, centers, alcohol, treatment and addiction. But not one of these keywords made it to the .net list.
With more than 300 million domain names registered globally, Verisign note there are numerous examples of trending keywords reflected by domain name registrations. In the past there has been a correlation between domain name registrations and newsworthy and popular events, as well as anticipated trends.
This monthâs list of the top 10 trending .com and .net keywords registered in English during April are below:
The internet is increasingly playing a part in the lives of Belgians with growing numbers enjoying the freedom it gives them, go online for entertainment and feel the internet is an essential part of their daily lives. But only 1 in 20 Belgians have ever registered a domain name.
This is all part of research conducted by InSites Consulting on behalf of DNS Belgium, the .be ccTLD registry, at the end of 2018. The research found trust is important for Belgian internet users, and .be domain names score high on that front.
When asked what were the most important factors when it comes to trusting a domain name, Belgians responded:
- Language of the domain name
- Extension of the domain name
- The brand of the domain name
- Length of the domain name.
When it came to trusting a website, an encrypted connection (https) was considered the most important, a .be domain name second and a company logo third.
When asked if theyâve ever registered at least one domain name, 5% of Belgians said they had while 95% said not. 60% understood the concept of domain names while one third (35%) said theyâd consider registering a domain name in the future, the remainder said they wouldnât.
For the top level domains Belgians register domain names in, 77% said their own country code top level domain .be, 30% said .com, 16% said .net and 13% said .eu. Following was their neighbour .nl (Netherlands – 8%), .org (7%), .fr (France – 4%), .brussels (2%), .london (1%) and others accounted for 9%.
When it comes to the reasons for registering a domain name, 43% of Belgians said for a website, 40% for website and email and 6% just email.
It also appears Belgians are registering domain names sooner in the process of developing a business or idea with 42% saying they registered a domain name âdirectly at the time of the ideaâ compared to 23% in 2017, 11% âwhen the business is launchedâ (11% in 2017) and 23% after the start (30% in 2017).
Awareness was highest with .be and .com, with both scoring awareness among over 90% of Belgians (94% and 92% respectively) while .vlaanderen and .brussels scored 27% and 19% respectively.
Belgians said they valued the freedom and entertainment the internet offered them with 70% saying they loved the freedom the internet gives them (up from 59% in 2017), 68% said they go online at home for entertainment (57% in 2017) and 67% said they âfeel the internet is an essential part of their daily livesâ (47% in 2017).
Belgians say they surf safely online with almost two thirds (64%) saying they ânever surf to untrustworthy sitesâ while half (50%) âare concerned with safe internet useâ and a quarter (25%) âare aware of the latest online security toolsâ.
Verisign reported their fourth quarter and full year 2018 financial results Thursday which showed 153.0 million .com and .net domain name registrations in the domain name base, a 4.5% increase and a net increase of 1.29 million registrations in the 12 months to the end of 2018.
While Verisign doesnât break down .com and .net registrations in their financial results, in their latest Domain Name Industry Brief for the third quarter 2018, where there were 151.7 million domains for .com and .net, 137.6 million for .com, 14.1 million for .net. Going by previous trends, itâs likely the majority if not all the increase in the fourth quarter was for .com and .net either was roughly the same or declined.
In the fourth quarter 2018, Verisign processed 9.5 million new domain name registrations for .com and .net, as compared to 9.0 million for the same quarter in 2017.
The final .com and .net renewal rate for the third quarter of 2018 was 74.8 percent compared with 74.4 percent for the same quarter in 2017. Renewal rates are not fully measurable until 45 days after the end of the quarter.
On their website Verisign publish their financial results going back to 2012. By way of comparison, in the final quarter of 2012 Verisign reported they added 1.25 million new domains and ended the fourth quarter with 121.1 million active domain names in .com and .net, representing a 6.4% increase year over year.
For the fourth quarter 2012 Verisign processed 8.0 million and 33.1 million new domain name registrations for .com and .net, representing 0.9 percent and 3.0 percent increase year over year, in the fourth quarter and full year 2012 periods, respectively.
During the quarter, on 26 October, Verisign and the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) entered into Amendment 35 to the Cooperative Agreement, which, among other items, permits Verisign, without further approval of the DOC, to agree with ICANN to change the .com Registry Agreement to increase wholesale prices for .com domain names up to 7% in each of the last four years of each six-year period of the .com Registry Agreement.
Financial Highlights for the quarter as reported by Verisign were:
- Verisign ended 2018 with cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities of $1.27 billion, a decrease of $1.15 billion from year-end 2017.
- Cash flow from operations was $219 million for the fourth quarter of 2018 and $698 million for the full year 2018 compared with $199 million for the same quarter in 2017 and $703 million for the full year 2017.
- Deferred revenues on Dec. 31, 2018, totalled $1.02 billion, an increase of $19 million from year-end 2017.
- During the fourth quarter, Verisign repurchased 1.2 million shares of its common stock for $175 million. During the full year 2018, Verisign repurchased 4.4 million shares of its common stock for $600 million.
- Effective Feb. 7, 2019 the Board of Directors approved an additional authorisation for share repurchases of approximately $603 million of common stock, which brings the total amount to $1.0 billion authorised and available under Verisignâs share repurchase program, which has no expiration.
Verisign have published their top trending keywords used in English .com and .net domain name registrations for December, and unusually the same keyword topped both .com and .net â âhempâ. It came in ninth for .com was âcaviarâ, which combined would be an interesting combination.
With more than 300 million domain names registered globally, Verisign note there are numerous examples of trending keywords reflected by domain name registrations. We have shown in the past that there is a correlation between domain name registrations and newsworthy and popular events, as well as anticipated trends.
Keeping in the spirit of the zeitgeist that .com and .net domain name registration trends can represent, Verisign publishes their monthly blog post series identifying the top 10 trending .com and .net keywords registered in English during the preceding month.
Here are the top 10 trending keywords registered in December 2018:
The number of .com and .net domain names registered around the world is a combined 151.7 million â 137.6 million for .com and 14.1 million for .net. And Verisign, the registry, published top trending keywords in English in each month for both top level domains.
Verisign notes that there can be a correlation between domain name registrations and newsworthy and popular events, as well as anticipated trends. While itâs not clear if thereâs anything to glean from Novemberâs, below is the top ten for each TLD to make up your own mind!
November 2018 TRENDING KEYWORDS